"What is this you are doing for the people?"

7 Great Coaching Tips from Exodus 18

As I spent time with coaches from Intervarsity’s national chapter planting cohort last summer, we spent some time looking at Exodus 18.  Moses is visited by his father-in-law, Jethro, and receives some great insight into his leadership over the people of Israel. Here are a few takeaways for coaching your ministry leaders.

1. Follow your people on social media

...and sign up for their ministry updates so you can get glimpses of what’s happening in their ministry and try to have a regular phone call to get more of the story (V. 1)

2. Visit leaders in their ministry context and give them a heads up that you are coming. 

Visiting will give you the chance to see things for yourself and notice dynamics that might not come out in a retelling of the events. The heads up will help your leader not be caught off guard and hopefully look forward to your time together. The heads up could also be a time to let them know what kind of ministry moments you would like to observe while you’re there. (V. 6)

3. Take time to get more of the story when you see them face-to-face.

Reading updates is good but there is always more to the story. Taking time to listen will give you amore robust picture of what has been happening, it will help you discern the emotions, the joys and the struggles of what your leader is facing. (V. 8)

4. Be aware of the presence of God in your conversation.

Take time to affirm, celebrate and worship because of what God is doing in the leader and their ministry.  (V. 9-12)

5. Observe the leader in action in their context. 

Observe, ask insightful questions, listen and try to understand why they are making certain leadership choices, be willing to challenge them when you see a better way.  It is a gift to help your leader see and deal with reality.  Their ministry will be more effective as a result. (V. 13-18)

6. Notice if the leader is following through 

...after you’ve spent time in a coaching conversation. The follow through is where the growth really happens. (V. 24-26)

7. Get out of the way.  

Once you’ve done your part, let your leaders have space to do what God has called them to! Trust that God is at work in and through them. The space to lead, try new things, succeed and even fail is very important to every leader’s development.  (V. 27)

Stacy Gaskins